I Talk Like Ohio

Monday, February 7, 2011

I'm obsessed with the way people speak. One of my favorite icebreakers is to ask people what words they use for various things, but it always make people nervous, like they think I'm judging them. Which I guess I sometimes am, but that's a different story. The topic today is not judgment but regional dialect; I gots it.

I will admit to being pretty nervous about posting this video. I'm a writer, y'all, not a... a talker. Talking makes me nervous. Still, I do it a lot & fairly proficiently, so there's no reason you shouldn't see me doing it, right? So here we go! Warning: It's (accidentally) a whopping seven minutes long, so either block out a chunk o' time to devote to my voice/face, or move it along. (Awkward/vain, I know, forgive me. Also forgive the heinous thumbnail Blogger chose, which is what I get for not being patient enough for Vimeo.)


The Words: aunt, route, wash, oil, theatre (I now suspect a Canadian wrote this list), iron, salmon, caramel, fire, water, sure, data, ruin, crayon, toilet, New Orleans, pecan, both, again, probably, spitting image, Alabama, lawyer, coupon, mayonnaise, syrup, pajamas, caught,

The Questions
:
  • What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
  • What is the bug that curls into a ball when you touch it?
  • What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
  • What do you call gym shoes?
  • What do you say to address a group of people?
  • What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
  • What do you call your grandparents?
  • What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
  • What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
  • What is the thing you change the TV channel with?
So... how do you speak? And do I speak funny? And should I feel as nervous about pressing "Publish Post" as I do?! In the words of the great Timabland, "Talk to me, girl."

33 comments:

  1. Love that you decided to do this! haha, I've heard some people say the word again like "a-gain." So weird. And I really thought the phrase sun shower was fairly common, I'll have to find out what other people call it!

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  2. I love this! I hope that I feel cute enough one day this week to participate! Mostly because I have lived in California for about 24 of my 27 years and I say "y'all" when addressing a group of people.

    Also, when you said, "Hey you guys," I hope I wasn't the only person who repeated it as Sloth from The Goonies.

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  3. this is really cool :)
    'oil'--definitely new yorkers/jerseyans/brooklyners MIGHT say it differently.
    you said more words differently than I say the same. (this sentence is confusing)

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  4. Being from Indianapolis, you and i use mostly the same words and phrases, including the mystification about there being a word for rain with sun other than 'raining.'
    That said, I do know a lot of alternate pronunciations for the words on the list--many of which are quite subtle. Moreover, your pronunciation differs ever so slightly from mine on many of them. Just differences in emphasis, really. This comes from what I think of as a 'rust-belt' accent--a sort of different speaking style that stretches across the Great Lakes area from Northern Ohio to Chicago. Further south, the accent is flatter. Further still, you get the border of the drawl.
    Obviously, since I'm in the flat region, that's the only truly correct way to speak.

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  5. i love dialects! one of my go-to sites is this:
    http://www4.uwm.edu/FLL/linguistics/dialect/maps.html
    it's kinda old but really thorough and easy to understand.

    then there's this, which is crazy:
    http://aschmann.net/AmEng/

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  6. You crack me up! You remind me of Emma Stone in Easy A.

    I'm from West Virginia .... I'm thinking I should not do a video on this. :)

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  7. I love this! I sort of want to do it myself...

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  8. Ohmygosh!! You need to watch my video for several reasons. First of all, YES IT IS CAR-MEL, THANK YOU. Everyone in my comments section is saying I'm wrong! Also, you need to hear how we say "oil" in the South. It's one syllable instead of two. :) We speak very similarly, it seems!

    Oh, and I call it TP'ing, but we also call it "rolling" here.

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  9. Oh, and I think your voice is really cute. I love your accent. :)

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  10. This is great. And being from W. PA, we say quite a bit the same. I also get made fun of for my "a" words. The group of people question, I would say ya'll or even yins (painful for some, but it's the Pittsburgh in me). But everything else was pretty spot on (though I am one of those people who says buggy...)

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  11. Fascinating project. You'll be glad to know you pronounced every word correctly except "coupon" and "pajamas."

    Glad to meet you!

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  12. I'm probably the only person who pronounces "meme" as ME ME. :P

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  13. I can't do a video, but I'm from East Texas and here are my answers:

    * What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house? "Rolling"
    * What is the bug that curls into a ball when you touch it? "Roly poly"
    * What is the bubbly carbonated drink called? "Coke" ;)
    * What do you call gym shoes? "Tenny shoes" ;)
    * What do you say to address a group of people? "Y'all," duh
    * What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs? "Daddy Longlegs"
    * What do you call your grandparents? Nanny, Nana, Pa
    * What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket? "Buggy"
    * What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining? "Devil's beating his wife" (this is one of my favorites, and actually dates from the Middle Ages, check it!)
    * What is the thing you change the TV channel with? "Remote" or "remote control"

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  14. FINALLY! I felt like such a dunce when watching all these vlogs because everyone had a word for the whole "sunshower" question and I never knew it had a name! I've only seen it once or twice and I'm always like, "Cool! It's raining, but the sun is shining!" LOL.

    I guess you have a deep voice? Maybe a little deeper than I was expecting but I think everyone does for me. ;)

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  15. yeah, my sis says A-gain, and she also says 'phone' "f-Ow-n" (if that makes any sense). she just really enunciates the 'Ow' part i guess. like she's say "f-Ow-n (phone) h-OH-me (home)." kind of weird. only one in the immediate family who does it. not sure where she picked it up.
    hehe, you say 'crayon' funny >.<
    oh, and my friends and i pronounce 'meme' "M-em". like with a soft first 'e' (as in 'hem') and a silent second 'e.' (also not sure if that comes across well, but there you have it).

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  16. I JUST realized this: When I'm talking about it, I pronounce it "CAR-mul." When I'm reading it, it's "CARE-uh-mel."

    *

    What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house? -- TP'ing
    What is the bug that curls into a ball when you touch it? -- Rolly polly
    What is the bubbly carbonated drink called? -- POP. It's not friggin' soda.
    What do you call gym shoes? -- Tennis shoes.
    What do you say to address a group of people? "Hey, guys."
    What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs? Daddy long legs.
    What do you call your grandparents? Nani & Papa
    What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket? Cart
    What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining? Um ... Pretty? Unusual? Rainbow-weather?
    What is the thing you change the TV channel with? Remote control.

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  17. Oh wow, I've never even heard of a number of these -- WTF's a sunshower?? Never heard of a buggy for a cart ... Or "rolling" for TP'ing someone's house. That sounds like something you to do a joint. This is great!

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  18. OK, as I'm watching this, it reminded me of one of my HUGE pet peeves, and it actually relates to how people pronounce things: THERE IS NO B IN "SUPPOSEDLY." Why people say "supposably" is beyond me, but it irks the hell out of me.

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  19. Ah yes, and it's "kitty corner," not "catty corner." And I'm done commenting. I swear ...

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  20. It's lovely to see you speak and hear your voice. I should definitely do this (sometime ... *whistle*).

    I call it a "m-em", because that's how I would say it in German, but I have no idea what's the right pronunciation (although I googled, the Merriam-Webster dictionary says it's "m-em" (apparently American English) and the Pons Dictionary says "mi:m" (apparently British English). :)

    Whatever ;)

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  21. Re: saying "again" a different way- think about a redneck saying it "y' beeter git dem beers! I'm not gunna tell you agin!"

    On a funnier note, I'm also from NE Ohio (suburbs of Cleveland) and you answered exactly as I would on every single thing, haha...

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  22. I've never had a reason to say it out Loud, but to me I have always said Meme or MeMah in my brain. It depends.

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  23. I meant MeMay. not MeMah. :)

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  24. I'm planning on doing this BUT it seems most people are saying things the same and I Think it's the Reading of it. I'm pretty sure a lot of us don't enunciate as much when we're just Talking and using a word. It's more the different Terms we use for different things that could vary.

    I was reading the rain Q and was thinking I say Hey it's raining but the sun is out. I have Heard of sunshowers before, but it never really stuck in my brain. I don't see it enough to need a name for it.

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  25. The word, "meme," bugs me, too. Lol.

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  26. Ha, so fun! I talk Ohio (a-hi-a)too, but with a bit of Pittsburghese (n'at, yinz) thrown in. Sometimes (rarely) some backwoods vernacular (like crick instead of creek) slips out.

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  27. I thought it was hilarious when you paused to think about what you say when you greet a group of people. I could think of my answer right away which I'm sure means something....what? who knows. I say "hello ladies!" if I am greeting a group of girls. For a mixed group I often say "helloooo!" I also often say "GOOOD Morning!"

    People say that I say "milk" weird. I hear that its because my dad is from the midwest. Maybe you and I say it the same? I say "melk."

    Your voice is not that deep. My voice on the other hand is very high.

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  28. This was SUCH a treat for me :) You sound nothing like I thought you would! I LOVE IT!

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  29. I'm from Ohio, too, so I was pretty excited to see if we speak the same. We totally do!

    I need to do this meme (seriously, I hate that word too) but I am way too lazy to try and deal with video-making.

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  30. You have a beautiful and very grown up voice! I sound like a child. Ha!

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  31. I talk like Ohio too! I was born and raised in Columbus. I'm in SoCal now though. I found you through GreenEyedMonster. This post was really entertaining for me. I definitely say "shore" for "sure" and have a complex about how to refer to carbonated beverages! Another Ohio-ism my boyfriend likes to point out to me is that I leave out verbs alot... "The clothes need washed. The dog wants out..." etc. Anyways, yay for Ohio and hope you are enjoying the Northeast!

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  32. OH MY GOD. I'm so happy you mentioned this. I had a BIG disagreement with my
    old coworkers about this - I'm a trained journalist & literally had NO IDEA
    this was an incorrect way to speak. "The lawn needs mowed, this paper needs
    edited." They told me it was a "white-trashy" way to speak...

    PS: I went to OU, too! :)

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  33. Nice! Go Bobcats! I love your stuff and was on your site all day at work! haha! And I definitely don't think it's "white-trashy" maybe just lazy :) Who needs the verb "to be" anyway? It's implied!

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